NJ T-Shirt Tuesday 119: KISS at Roosevelt Stadium in Jersey City!

Today’s t-shirt memorializes the very KISS stadium concert at Jersey City’s Roosevelt Stadium in 1976! This tee is available at their official page KISSonline.com

Wow, we love demolishing stadiums in this state, don’t we? Roosevelt Stadium in Jersey City was a baseball stadium that opened in 1937 and was demolished in 1985. Sure, it had its share of memorable sporting events and concerts, but one in particular featured my favorite band ever, KISS.

When you think of famed KISS concerts, you may think of Cobo Hall in Detroit, or even Madison Square Garden in New York City, but merely days after America’s Bicentennial 4th of July celebration, on July 10th, 1976, KISS played very first stadium show right in The Sexiest of all Armpits.

Headlining a big baseball stadium was no easy task. The band had to be louder and crazier than the crowd was, and naturally, KISS was up for the task. At the time, they were riding high on what would become their biggest album of all time, Destroyer, so they were properly equipped to blast everyone directly out of the stadium with their mammoth sound and explosions, and that’s exactly what they did.

For non-KISS fans, it’s easy to believe that if you’ve seen one KISS concert, you’ve seen them all, but I’m here to tell you that’s just simply not the case. There was a special kind of magic going on with the early KISS shows. A group of musicians with a wild idea to mix ghastly face paint, elaborate costumes, and an explosive stage show were still in their formative years as a band. Hell, much like some of their other early concerts, the Roosevelt Stadium show was filmed in black and white, lending it an even more macabre atmosphere. B&W is one quality that always intrigued me with early KISS shows and bootlegs, especially knowing that Gene is such a horror movie fanatic.

Many of you have lived through the many incarnations of KISS. For over 40 years now KISS has been evolving their music, their look, and their stage show. To me, nothing beats those early years. Their music was darker and more seedy, their look was more basic, albeit scary. I wasn’t lucky enough to live through their ’70s heyday, but I relived them on my own through VHS bootlegs as a kid. Now, all that footage is on DVD box sets and of course, YouTube! You can see footage from the Roosevelt Stadium show below.

*Opening for KISS at Roosevelt Stadium was The J.Geils Band and Point Blank. It’s a heinous crime that at of the time of this post this show was somehow not included in the notable KISS concert list on Wikipedia. That is totally insane. Someone please fix this!

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Rob Zombie’s Super Monster Sex Action Tour Is Coming To Starland Ballroom

He claimed he would be swearing off horror for a while to delve into other genres, but Rob Zombie isn’t keeping his word. There’s more movies and music to be made and Zombie seems like he’s Never Gonna Stop. I’m more than cool with his self-defiance. The hard working and hard rocking horror icon, a.k.a Rob Cummings, will be unleashing his own brand of hell onto the Starland Ballroom is Sayreville, NJ on Saturday, June 6th 2015. It’s the Super Monster Sex Action Tour, and it’s gonna be insane.

Zombie’s ability to churn out new music is astounding. This guy is a creative machine. For Zombie fans, each of his albums have consistently delivered, all while throwing up a middle finger to the mainstream. I’m hoping a few new tracks will be unveiled at the sold out show.

How does he do it all? I have a hard time working, blogging, and putting the dishes away, but this guy writes and directs films AND tours in support of albums crammed with songs he writes and records with his band. Whatever magic juice he’s drinking, gimme some of that!

In the movie realm, on the horizon for Zombie is his own crowdfunded horror film, 31. Early clues such as plot, storyboards, and character design point to this being the best work of his career, which is encouraging for people who were left underwhelmed by The Lords of Salem. Not saying it’s a great film, but personally, I enjoyed it.

Also coming up, he’ll be executive producing and providing some voice work for the animated The Hills Have Eyes: The Beginning. Getting Zombie on board for an installment in this franchise couldn’t be more in his wheelhouse, it’s a total no-brainer.

Back to the topic of Zombie’s concerts – they are always quite a spectacle. You won’t be hearing any A Capella or harmonizing, it’s all about the rock. You’ll have a bad case of rockneck from all the headbanging. He often throws in some surprises too. For instance, last year, at his concert in Camden, NJ, Zombie brought out the Catman himself, Peter Criss, for a special performance of “God of Thunder.” He eloquently urged his legion of fans in a courteous manner that, “Now would be the time to take out those stupid fucking phones, you might want to film this…” You can check out the entire clip courtesy of Jim Powers’ YouTube account below.

12 Fictional Bands That I Didn’t Mention on Nerd Lunch Episode 170

The Nerd Lunch Podcast Episode 170 is now available for download! It’s all about fictional/fake bands from various forms of entertainment. Tim Lybarger, CT, Pax, and myself offer some of our favorites and then later in the show we try to guess some really obscure selections! After you listen, check out my list of fictional bands below that I didn’t get a chance to mention on the podcast.


12. Danger Kitty, Discover Card Commercial, 2001
They’ve been enjoying the biggest success of their career as Steel Panther, and to think they started as a cover band playing ’80s hair band songs in Los Angeles! Originally they were known as Metal Shop, and then Metal Skool and they gained quite a following, now, as Steel Panther they’re touring the world, literally. Everyone loves a some good, tight zebra skin spandex and vagina jokes. Early on, the band appeared as Danger Kitty in a Discover Card commercial where they played a kids Bar Mitzvah. In 2001, at their website, you could get a CD single of the track they played in the commercial called “Love Rocket,” and you can imagine that I requested mine in about .02 milliseconds. Of course, I still have it and have been obsessed with the band ever since.

11. Arsenal, Rock of Ages Musical, 2005-present
Rock of Ages has been a staple musical since 2005 in various parts of the country and touring all over the world. The show spawned a 2012 film adaptation which I still haven’t watched in fear that it’s nowhere near as good as the stage show. The main band in the show is Arsenal and they play actual ’80s arena rock tunes, but what makes them so special to me is that all of the stops on their fictional first tour were to random New Jersey towns! If you want to see proof, I have their original promotional t-shirt and there are photos in my review of the off Broadway production from 2008. This early incarnation of ROA reviewed here was the best before they started tweaking the story, characters, and actors.

10. The Barbusters, Light of Day, 1987
The band in this rock drama is comprised of Michael J. Fox and Joan Jett in one hell of an oddball mash up. The title track was written by Bruce Springsteen. Bon Jovi also appears on the soundtrack.

9. The Lost Soulz, The Perfect Age of Rock n Roll
This rock and roll road movie was filmed partly in New Jersey and my friend Jasin Cadic from the band Starkiller co-wrote it! Check out my review from when it was released.

8. Black Roses, 1988
A monstrous metal band turns everyone into monsters – quite a masterpiece. I recommend adding it to your Halloween time viewing if you haven’t done so in the past. Tracks like “Dance on Fire” and “Soldiers of the Night,” are staples of my Fall playlists. Bands that appear on this rare soundtrack include Lizzy Borden and King Kobra.

7. Vesuvius, The Rocker, 2008
For a while I was watching The Rocker at least 3 times a week. That’s what happens when HBO gets a hold of a new movie. Rainn Wilson and Christina Applegate star in the comedy, but it’s a who’s who of comedic actors such as Fred Armisen, Will Arnett, and Jeff Garlin. It’s well worth your time if you are into silly comedies about rock bands like Spinal Tap. The direct result of watching this movie constantly: I was obsessed with “Promised Land” and listened to it on loop on the way to work for several months. The tunes by Vesuvius are attributed to singer Keith England and his band Lazlo Bane.

6. Stillwater, Almost Famous, 2000
A young music journalist embarks on tour with his favorite band Stillwater to document their exploits for a possible published spot in a rock magazine. Said to be based off of the early years of director Cameron Crowe’s life. I’ve had a couple of Stillwater songs on my iPod ever since I owned an iPod. The authentic track, “Fever Dog,” it sounds like it was a lost track made recorded in the mid ’70s, and it’s not surprising because the Stillwater songs were written by Crowe, his ex-wife Nancy Wilson of Heart, and Peter Frampton which helped give it that special vintage sound. Although the film did not knock ’em dead at the box office, the soundtrack won a Grammy for best soundtrack/compilation.


5. Dyver Down from Holliston, 2013
Used mostly for comic relief, the Van Halen tribute band Dyver Down, lead by Lance Rocket (Dee Snider) actually has a track available on iTunes called “Love It Down Your Throat” and a schlocky, badass music video to go along with it. This was my favorite aspect of the show, well, this and Laura Ortiz of course.


4. Mouthfeel and Juggernaut, Gettin’ The Band Back Together
You’re almost guaranteed not to be familiar with these next bands, (it’s a twofer, I cheated) but you will be soon if all goes well. I was lucky enough to see the play getting the band back together with Miss Sexy Armpit at the George Street Playhouse in New Brunswick in its early phase. It’s been rumored for a while now that it’s on making it’s way to Broadway. If this happens, you may be seeing Rock of Ages take a back seat because that is how funny and entertaining this play is. The comedy/rock musical hybrid is about, you guessed it, a guy who gets his band back together to save his home and neighborhood. They get into a battle of the bands which pits the evil Mouthfeel against the rock heroes in Juggernaut. The original songs are ’80s arena rock style and a select few are available on iTunes. Unfortunately the self titled track “Mouthfeel” isn’t available. I hope Mouthfeel’s tracks make it to the Broadway show otherwise I’m protesting in ’80s hair band attire.

3. Eddie and the Cruisers, 1983
This Jersey classic is possibly one of the most successful fictitious band songs ever. “On The Dark Side,” by John Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band, scored a number one hit on the Mainstream Rock singles and reached number 7 on the Billboard Hot 100. The sequel, Eddie and the Cruisers II: Eddie Lives, arrived in 1989.

2. Tears of Blood, Disney’s Wizards of Waverly Place
If you follow me on Twitter, you may have read about how my life has spun out of control ever since Netflix removed Wizards of Waverly Place from their streaming service. I was completely devastated. It was like a punch in the gut! It’s one of my favorite shows of all time and it never fails to make me happy. One minor aspect of the show references a rock band called Tears of Blood. They get mentioned in a bunch of episodes and there’s even a poster that shows up on the wall in one scene. TOB is crazy popular with the teenage crowd within the universe of the show. They even get mentioned in other Disney shows which was always surprising considering the very un-Disney-like name of one of their tracks, “Crying Blood for You.” I can’t be certain anyone has actually heard their music though. If anyone has Tears of Blood music, send it my way!

1. The Hex Girls, Scooby Doo
Scooby Doo fans are ultra familiar with this “eco-goth rock band.” You can see and hear them perform in several Scooby outings, but I suggest you check out the Mystery Inc. episode “In Fear of the Phantom” while it’s still streaming on Netflix. In it, Daphne joins the band as a temporary new member, Crush, voiced by the lovely Grey DeLisle-Griffin. Look out for the influences of Phantom of the Opera, Phantom of the Paradise, and an awesome little surprise cameo from Vincent Van Ghoul from the 13 Ghosts of Scooby Doo!

Who are some of your favorite fictional bands? Leave ’em in the comments! Thanks for reading!

The Devil Inside…The Hard Rock Cafe in Atlantic City, NJ

That Stoned Pimp, The Jersey Devil shilling for The Hard Rock Cafe, Atlantic City in this collectors pin. Here we see JD all duked out in sunglasses, jewelry, and tacky beachwear circa 2003, drinking Martinis on the Jersey Shore with two bikini-clad hotties 

Screw the long lines, head straight to the guitar shaped bar. I find it easy to relax there. The bartender, Cherish, is the type who is very much in control. She knows what she wants and what you want before you even decide. Even if you tell her what you think you want, she’ll correct you and tell you what you actually want. I mean, tell you what you want, what you really, really want. So, yeah, Cherish. I wasn’t sure if her parents were just hippies or if this was one of the best gimmicks ever where all the employees were named after songs. Unfortunately, none of the waitresses were named “Wannabe.” Zigazigah.

CHERISH: “You’ll have a Purple Haze”
JAY: “OK, I’ll have a Purple Haze…and these”

As I said that, I squinted as if I needed reading glasses while scanning the menu with my finger to pinpoint the generic chicken appetizer that I kept going back to. “These” referred to what I get pretty much every time, the The Tupelo Chicken Tenders. Better the devil you know.

At the Hard Rock, always keep it simple. The Tupelo tenders are quick, easy, and do the trick. Plus, for some unexplained reason, at that very moment, you’ll be compelled to spend the majority of the money you have to your name on alcohol anyway, so you won’t have enough resources to splurge on a steak the size of an actual Led Zeppelin. What kind of insidious urge overcomes you at The Hard Rock, Atlantic City? Why, it must be the Devil himself, but the one from New Jersaaay!

The Hard Rock specialty drink, The Purple Haze, IS damn good, but more importantly, where the hell else are you gonna see Buddy Holly’s 6th grade yearbook or a white leather jacket custom made for Richie Sambora straight from the New Jersey era of Bon Jovi? Not even The Smithsonian has relics so vital to our culture. The Louvre is irrelevant to me.

This Hard Rock Cafe pin is pretty badass. The Jersey Devil, circa 2007, looking fierce 
while playing a sick groove on his axe bass.

You might find yourself mishearing what your friends and your waitress are saying because it’s crowded and loud. What’s worse, is that sometimes I’ve waited upwards of 45 minutes to get the food I ordered, but it’s all part of the ambiance. You know what they say “If it’s too loud and your chicken tenders take too long to come out, you’re too old!”

Moreover, music fans go to The Hard Rock to see some of that awesome rock and roll memorabilia. That’s right, you can get tanked, inhale a cheeseburger, and then drool over KISS costumes and Instagram pics of guitars that belonged to Bruce Springsteen and Pete Townshend.

Keep in mind though, if you’re trying to hold on to some semblance of street cred, an establishment known for their overpriced t-shirts/tourist uniforms shouldn’t be your regular hangout.

Although I’ve often fancied myself as some counter culture rocker who cannot play any instruments whatsoever, there aren’t many cooler, more inviting places for me to be in when I’m seeking refuge from the sweltering summer heat on the Atlantic City boardwalk.

For the past couple of years, there’s been talk of an actual Hard Rock boutique hotel and casino coming to AC to inhabit one of the casinos that has closed their doors. Boutique really just translates to EXPENSIVE ROOMS. Hopefully it does open one day, because I’ve always wanted to bare witness to the only existing pair of Meatloaf’s high school gym coach’s sweatpants.

And now, I leave you with a few more pics of some other kind of Jersey Devils!

WIN Tickets for Barnstorming The Bowery in NYC!

Barnstorming the Bowery is not just a concert, it’s really more of a music festival taking place on August 21st and it’s sure to be equally as entertaining as the name sounds. This jam packed night of music spawned from an innovative idea pulling together 7 local bands to make up one mammoth night in downtown New York City! On deck for this rock and roll party: The Dirty Pearls, Ten Ton Mojo, Mother, Killcode, J and the 9s, The Liza Colby Sound, and The Threads!

*What makes this show different? A lottery will take place throughout the night to determine the lineup of bands taking the stage! That’s some exciting shit right there! Who’s on first? I’m on the edge of my seat already! This approach adds an element of intrigue that you won’t get at any other concert!

This summer, why waste your time taking your significant other to the boardwalk to play a silly wheel game just to win a giant box of gum that’ll just lose its flavor in under a minute? Take your shot at winning tickets to Barnstorming the Bowery – right here…NOW!

WIN 2 tickets to see this massive merger of bands right here from The Sexy Armpit!

Contest Rules: 

All you have to do is correctly match each band to their song! It’s that simple. Send your answers to sexyarmpit@comcast.net and include your full name and the subject BOWERY. All correct answers will be pooled and a winner will be chosen at random. Winner will be notified by e-mail. Contest ends on 8/1 so get those answers in!

For more info and to purchase tickets head over to Ticketmaster:

August 21, 2014
Doors open at 7PM, show starts at 8PM
The Bowery Ballroom
6 Delancy St.
New York, NY

Trixter Is Triumphant!

Trixter’s latest single “Tattoos and Misery” off their album New Audio Machine

On my commute home from work today, “Heart of Steel” came up on my iPod. As I drove with the windows down and the cool air blowing into the car, the song reminded me of how great Trixter was. They still are as a matter of fact! You may not realize it, but they are still rocking! The Trixter guys were the young dudes on the block as the hair bands began to go extinct, so they still have a lot of gas in the tank and they are about to start putting the pedal to the metal once again.

Remember when Rocky climbed to the top of the mountain in Rocky IV? When you reach the top, it’s hard to get any higher. Where could he go from there? Launch himself into space? That’s unlikely, regardless of how awesome he is. Trixter did the same exact thing in the music world. They sold tons of records, had a huge hit video on MTV, and toured the world with legendary acts. The best part is, they lived to tell about it and even cut a brand new record New Audio Machine that was released in late April. A whole new generation of fans is now getting a chance to see Trixter live as they tour around the globe to promote this new set of tunes!

If you are into flawless melodic rock with an edge and enjoy recalling simpler days of carefree rock and roll, Trixter’s songs definitely have a place on your iPod. If you are unfamiliar with their early work, it’s still as fresh sounding as it was throughout the ’80s and early ’90s. Trixter was all over the hard rock and hair metal scene back then. They were on the covers of metal and rock magazines and everyone around Jersey was psyched to have known them or have a run-in with them at the local mall. It was another feather in the cap for Jersey people because in addition to huge acts like Bruce, and Bon Jovi, we were also lucky enough to say Trixter was from right around the corner too.

While “Give It To Me Good” might sound like a line a porn actress might have demanded Ron Jeremy to do to her in the ’80s, it’s actually the song that really put the rocking sons of Paramus NJ on the map. A couple of classics from the era followed with “One in a Million” and “Surrender.” Trixter was also voted #29 on VH1’s Top 40 Hair Band Countdown. Pete, Steve, P.J, and Mark put on such an awesome show and you can read my review of their 2008 show at Dexter’s HERE. Seriously, don’t waste your money on Tom Cruise singing cover songs of the era on the Rock of Ages soundtrack, get the real deal stuff from the guys who actually lived it – Jersey’s own Trixter! New Audio Machine is available on iTunes.

See Trixter LIVE!
September 29th, 2012
Mexicali Blues in Teaneck, NJ.
CLICK HERE FOR TICKETS!

The Dirty Pearls Record Release Party, May 5th 2012

Enchiladas can be eaten all freaking year, so I opted for some Rock and Roll instead. 2012’s Cinco De Mayo, a night usually reserved for chips and salsa and doing tequila shots off muffin tops, will go down as a major milestone for New York City’s prodigious party bringers The Dirty Pearls.

In his writings, Nostradamus once prophesied that there would one day be a mass of people who will experience full-length phonic exhilaration at the hands of five defiled gems. Ages later, actually, as of last night, the prophecy has come true. The five defiled gems Nostradamus spoke of were The Dirty Pearls and the full-length record finally came. Okay so Nostradamus didn’t predict any of that, but lead singer Tommy London has been promising a full length record for quite a long time and now it’s finally available! On Saturday night, the band celebrated the culmination of all their studio work with a huge concert at The Gramercy Theatre. London described the album to the packed house as “…our f*cking Chinese Democracy…but it actually sounds good.” It was a big night for The Dirty Pearls and I didn’t want to be anywhere else.

Not only did I try to squelch my insatiable lust for Mexican cuisine all night, but I was also missing Eli Manning hosting Saturday Night Live. See, Rock and Roll is all about sacrifice my friends…and DVR’ing shit. Only the hard working bands were playing out that night, all the others were stuffing their face with quesadillas and mainlining Patron. All the way across the country, The Black Keys were playing a concert in Sacramento. The Red Hot Chili Peppers were playing in Newark at The Prudential Center, (a venue I’d love to see The Dirty Pearls play at, but one step at a time here) but the most monumental show in the entire country was happening on East 23rd Street in NYC.

My ability to really go out and rock hard has decreased exponentially since entering my 30’s. For instance, my tolerance for annoying people is very low, hence I drove rather than took the train. Cinco De Mayo indicated to me there might be a lot of drunken idiots on the train. It turned out to be the right move because the night began with one of the quickest and most stress free rides into Manhattan I’ve ever driven. Emptying the bladder was first on my to do list, as I said, at this advanced age rocking can only happen after all these details are taken care of. Next, I set up Miss Sexy Armpit, our friend Lori, and myself up with a beer. As we caught the tail end of Ariana and The Rose’s last song, we found ourselves in an overwhelming predicament. I stood in a crowd of people and Miss Sexy Armpit’s gaze was fixated on the rows of stadium type seating in the back of the theatre. We were now faced with a huge decision. Do we completely lose our credibility and get our rock licenses revoked by sitting in those seats like a bunch of geriatrics? When the opportunity presents itself, we usually choose seats. Unless it’s Gwen Stefani and she might have her crotch in my face.

Even with all the local bands that I talk to on a regular basis, I had not heard of Liquid Blonde, one of the bands on the bill. They seemed to have characteristics like Powerman 5000 and Orgy. Their look is a little bit futuristic/punk while their sound incorporates electro type beats with heavy rock. Maybe there’s a rap-rock revival on the horizon because a couple of their songs had that vibe. I just Googled them as I write this and see that their tag line is “Electro-Sci-Fi Rock Orgy” so I wasn’t far off. Their drummer is jacked bigger than any of the WWE Superstars and I think they had a topless keyboardist, so there’s that.

The “Super-Moon” was supposedly out on Saturday night, but it was Star Killer that stole its thunder. The band, lead by Jasin Cadic, exploded onto the stage bringing their usual madness. They tore it up with all their tracks from their EP and then some including “As The Sky Is Falling” “Out of Range,” “Too Wrong” and “Picture Perfect.” The winning element to Star Killer’s songs is their ability to transport you to another world. You really get the feeling you’re in some sort of apocalyptic planet when listening to their music. Cadic’s enigmatic style and the aura that the band evokes is almost haunting and resonates in your mind long after their performance is over.

Just when I thought things couldn’t get any weirder. It’s not often that you see one guy come out with no band and no crazy lights and merely sing along with a backing track. Whether it’s budgetary or just the way he wants to present himself, Breedlove made a statement. You don’t need all the glitz, you just have to sound great and be original. During his impressive vocal set, the long-haired, bespectacled free spirit Breedlove mentioned that it’s not all the time that he can get a gig as grand as opening for The Dirty Pearls at Gramercy. Pull up his song “I Never Had” and you’ll hear what Breedlove is all about.

As evident on the bill that night, there’s quite a scene going on in the lower parts of Manhattan. A pretty large chunk of credit for that needs to go to The Dirty Pearls who have no problem welcoming fellow bands and singers into their world. During the show, the ‘Pearls frontman Tommy London mentioned that they are all about mutual respect and helping other bands in the scene. Recently, London started up his own label, Rivington Records, which will be spotlighting bands from the New York scene and beyond. 

As far as performances go, I never expect anything less than the best from The Dirty Pearls. They pour with intensity, it’s as if they actually run on “Caffeine and Gasoline” (track 3 on Whether You Like It Or Not, in case you were curious). Marty E., Dougie, Tommy, Sunny and Tommy London ripped through all their staple tracks including “New York City Is a Drug,” “Sucker For a Sequel,” “Static,” “Luvsikluv,” “Whether You Like It Or Not,” and of course “Who’s Coming Back To Who.” After many promises from London about the album having no ballads, they relented and threw in “You Got Me Where You Want Me” at the last minute. As a dude who switches off his brain when bands perform ballads, I was enthralled by how cool this track is. I even fired up my Zippo lighter app on the iPhone. At one point soon after Tommy London thanked everyone for being there and mentioned that he read on his Twitter feed that there were people in the crowd who came from as far as Berlin, Germany and even…NEW JERSEY hahaha!!! Those of us from across the river appreciate the shout out!

For the long time fans they threw in a medley of some old school ‘Pearls tracks like “Rockstarlivin’, “Hollywood La La La,” and one of my all-time favorites “Gimme, Gimme.” After their set was over, fans in the crowd resoundingly chanted “ONE MORE SONG! ONE MORE SONG,” and The ‘Pearls did not disappoint. They indeed came back to give us one more, but it wasn’t theirs. They performed a cover that was indicative of what they were feeling at that moment and that was Aerosmith’s “Sweet Emotion.”

All these paragraphs aren’t enough to express how perfectly The Dirty Pearls capture the raw emotion of rock and roll. If Elvis is The King, Frankie is The Chairman of the Board, Bruce is The Boss, then The Dirty Pearls head up New York City’s Department of Rock and Roll in the 5th Precinct.  

The Dirty Pearls first full-length record Whether You Like It or Not is available HERE